The Awakening

It took me 33 years to fully embrace design!

As a child, although I was surrounded by art, architecture, and design—my grandparents were noted designers Charles and Ray Eames; my mother, a graphic designer; and my stepfather, a sculptor—I identified more with my father, a businessman.

In my early 30’s, I returned to school to get my undergraduate degree in psychology.  Just two semesters short of achieving my goal, I took an Art Therapy class.  It worked its magic on me— unleashing my long-buried love of color and form.  It’s really not that surprising—my childhood drawings celebrated just that: bright colors and shapes.

Fast forward through a double major (in Psychology and Art History), to a Masters in Museum Studies while working as a curatorial assistant in the Department of Architecture, Design & Graphics at the Denver Art Museum, to becoming the educator for that department.

One of my first tasks as an educator was to create an all day, week-long class for 9-12 year-olds.  I focused on chairs—it made sense: I looked to my grandparents to understand process, and to my mother and stepfather to understand the sculptural forms of chairs.  Everything fell into place once I explored anthropomorphism and discovered that some chairs have a gender and a few even a personality.

Since then, while representing the Eames Office, I have taught around the world—classes of many sizes, for many age ranges, and of many lengths: 2 hours, an afternoon, 2 days and more.

What makes me a successful teacher is that I have walked within two worlds—that of the artistic and those who believe they aren’t.  But, I have found that everyone has their own artistry, and that the exploration of chairs has allowed thousands to experience the joy of inquiry and creation.

Clinton Webb